Golden State Warriors Searching for a Second Unit Shooter


The Golden State Warriors are in need of more long range shooting.

That’s right: the team that shot the highest percentage from behind the arc (39.8) while posting the second highest number of buckets from that range (883) needs more three-point shooting. But before you start questioning my logic, hear me out.

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Now it’s true the Warriors have the best shooting backcourt in the NBA. With Stephen Curry lighting up the box score with his amazing shooting stroke, all the while dropping dimes off to another prolific long bomber in Klay Thompson, the Splash Brothers have proven to be an offensive force to be feared — a force that, among several other notable accolades, just recently won a NBA title.

So why exactly do the Warriors still require another shooter? As you can guess from the title of this article, it’s simple: the Warriors completely lack a long range shooter off the bench.

Looking at last season’s roster, the Warriors had an open spot for a shooter, which was never filled.

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Justin Holiday had a chance to fill it, but his destiny was to be buried deep in Golden State’s rotation so that he could be dug up by the Atlanta Hawks a la Kent Bazemore.

Andre Iguodala had a chance to fill the role of a backup floor spacer, but on the long list of things that Iguodala excels at, jump shooting isn’t exactly at the top of that list (unless you count that one time he shot 48.3 percent over six games against the Warriors in the playoffs).

Shaun Livingston‘s three-point game is so nonexistent, he makes Marreese Speights look like a sharpshooter.

And then there’s Brandon Rush….

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  • Of all those guys, the one player that came closest to filling that role was Leandro Barbosa, whose shooting mechanics make you cringe even before he spots up. In fact, my favorite moments from last season include every single time Barbosa lined up for a clutch three, causing me to face palm, then subsequently exclaim in utter disbelief after draining it.

    To put things concisely, Steve Kerr‘s favorite lineup to use sans Curry and Thompson was one that featured Barbosa, Livingston, Speights, Iguodala and Harrison Barnes. That lineup shot just 22.2 percent from behind the arc, which is nothing close to where that squad needs to be.

    Now it’s no secret that the Warriors went into the 2015 NBA Draft hoping to grab a shooter. Despite Kevon Looney slowly developing a three-point shot, I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly what the team had in mind. R.J. Hunter would have been nice, but Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge decided to be a troll and draft Hunter, later taking on David Lee‘s contract as if to make some sort of amends.

    As for other shooters that were available around the time Golden State picked at 30: Anthony Brown out of Stanford ended up going to the Los Angeles Lakers at 34 (though he ended up posting a poor shooting performance in the Las Vegas Summer League), and Michael Frazier out of Florida did everything for the Warriors during Summer League BUT shoot the long ball.

    So the Warriors took to free agency with one thing on their mind: find a backup sharpshooter. Though they’ve only picked up two guys thus far, one of them certainly has a chance to fill the roster spot left open by Holiday.

    The first player Bob Myers picked up was Warriors Summer League alumnus, Ian Clark. After having won Summer League MVP while playing for Golden State’s Summer League championship team, Clark was picked up by the Utah Jazz. He made a number of trips down the D-League before being waived, after which point he was claimed off waivers by the Denver Nuggets.

    Now a free agent, Clark is hoping to showcase the shooting stroke he once displayed for the Warriors two summers ago. Standing at just 6-feet-3-inches with a 34.4 percent career three-point shooting percentage, I’m unsure if he’ll find a way to break the regular season rotation with Barbosa there.

    The second sharpshooter that was picked up by the Warriors was Jarell Eddie, a relatively unknown player out of Virginia Tech who bounced around the D-League after going undrafted in 2014.

    At 6-feet-7-inches, Eddie’s size would allow him the versatility to switch between both wings on defense, which is certainly something the Golden State prioritizes. Couple that with his D-League three-point shooting percentage of 45.2 percent, and Eddie all but solidifies himself as a frontrunner for that remaining roster spot.

    If he can come into training camp and the shoot the lights out during the preseason, Eddie could possibly find a home in Golden State as the third Splash Brother.

    Next: Andrew Bogut Must Stay Healthy